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Publication numberUS7732786 B2
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 11/418,078
Publication dateJun 8, 2010
Filing dateMay 5, 2006
Priority dateMay 5, 2006
Fee statusPaid
Also published asUS20070257622, WO2007130078A2, WO2007130078A3
Publication number11418078, 418078, US 7732786 B2, US 7732786B2, US-B2-7732786, US7732786 B2, US7732786B2
InventorsJonathan Gorrell, Mark Davidson, Michael E. Maines
Original AssigneeVirgin Islands Microsystems, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Coupling energy in a plasmon wave to an electron beam
US 7732786 B2
Abstract
A device for coupling energy in a plasmon wave to an electron beam includes a metal transmission line having a pointed end; a generator mechanism constructed and adapted to generate a beam of charged particles; and a detector microcircuit disposed adjacent to the generator mechanism. The generator mechanism and the detector microcircuit are disposed adjacent the pointed end of the metal transmission line and wherein a beam of charged particles from the generator mechanism to the detector microcircuit electrically couples the plasmon wave traveling along the metal transmission line to the microcircuit.
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Claims(15)
1. A device for coupling energy in a plasmon wave to an electron beam, the device comprising:
a transmission line;
a generator mechanism constructed and adapted to generate a beam of charged particles along a path adjacent to the transmission line; and
a detector microcircuit disposed along said path, at a location after said beam has gone past said line,
wherein the generator mechanism and the detector microcircuit are disposed adjacent transmission line and wherein a beam of charged particles from the generator mechanism to the detector microcircuit electrically couples the plasmon wave traveling along the transmission line to the microcircuit.
2. A device as in claim 1 wherein the generator mechanism is selected from the group comprising:
an ion gun, a thermionic filament, tungsten filament, a cathode, a vacuum triode, a field emission cathode, a planar vacuum triode, an electron-impact ionizer, a laser ionizer, a chemical ionizer, a thermal ionizer, an ion-impact ionizer.
3. A device as in claim 1 wherein the beam of charged particles comprises particles selected from the group comprising:
positive ions, negative ions, electrons, and protons.
4. A device as in claim 1 wherein the detector microcircuit detects the presence of a plasmon wave in the transmission line.
5. A device as in claim 1 wherein the detector microcircuit detects the absence of a plasmon wave in the transmission line.
6. A device as in claim 1 wherein the transmission line is formed from a metal.
7. A device as in claim 6 wherein the metal comprises a metal selected from the group comprising:
gold (Au), silver (Ag), copper (Cu) and aluminum (Al).
8. A device as in claim 1 wherein the transmission line has a pointed end and wherein the generator mechanism and the detector microcircuit are disposed adjacent the pointed end of the transmission line.
9. A device as in claim 1 further comprising:
shielding structure disposed to prevent interference with the beam of charged particles by sources of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) other than EMR from the transmission line.
10. A method comprising:
generating a beam of charged particles adjacent a metal transmission line; and
detecting changes in said beam of charged particles, wherein said changes are indicative of the presence or absence of a plasmon wave in the metal transmission line.
11. A method as in claim 10 wherein the beam of charged particles is generated by a mechanism selected from the group comprising:
an ion gun, a thermionic filament, a cathode, vacuum triode, a planar vacuum triode, an electron-impact ionizer, a laser ionizer, a chemical ionizer, a thermal ionizer, an ion-impact ionizer.
12. A method as in claim 10 wherein the beam of charged particles comprises particles selected from the group comprising:
positive ions, negative ions, electrons, and protons.
13. A method as in claim 12 wherein the step of detecting indicates the presence of a plasmon wave in the metal transmission line.
14. A method as in claim 12 wherein the step of detecting indicates the absence of a plasmon wave in the metal transmission line.
15. A device for coupling energy in a plasmon wave to an electron beam, the device comprising:
a metal transmission line having a pointed end, the metal comprising silver (Ag);
a generator mechanism constructed and adapted to generate a beam of charged particles, wherein the generator mechanism is selected from the group comprising:
an ion gun, a thermionic filament, tungsten filament, a cathode, a vacuum triode, a field emission cathode, a planar vacuum triode, an electron-impact ionizer, a laser ionizer, a chemical ionizer, a thermal ionizer, an ion-impact ionizer;
a detector microcircuit disposed adjacent to the generator mechanism; and
shielding structure disposed to prevent interference with the beam of charged particles by sources of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) other than EMR from the transmission line,
wherein the generator mechanism and the detector microcircuit are disposed adjacent the pointed end of the transmission line and wherein a beam of charged particles from the generator mechanism to the detector microcircuit electrically couples the plasmon wave traveling along the metal transmission line to the microcircuit.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present invention is related to U.S. application Ser. No. 11/302,471, entitled “Coupled Nano-Resonating Energy Emitting Structures,” filed Dec. 14, 2005, and U.S. application Ser. No. 11/349,963, filed Feb. 9, 2006, entitled “Method And Structure For Coupling Two Microcircuits,” the entire contents of each of which are incorporated herein by reference.

The present invention is related to the following co-pending U.S. patent applications which are all commonly owned with the present application, the entire contents of each of which are incorporated herein by reference:

    • (1) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/238,991, filed Sep. 30, 2005, entitled “Ultra-Small Resonating Charged Particle Beam Modulator”;
    • (2) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/917,511, filed on Aug. 13, 2004, entitled “Patterning Thin Metal Film by Dry Reactive Ion Etching”;
    • (3) U.S. application Ser. No. 11/203,407, filed on Aug. 15, 2005, entitled “Method Of Patterning Ultra-Small Structures”;
    • (4) U.S. application Ser. No. 11/243,476, filed on Oct. 5, 2005, entitled “Structures And Methods For Coupling Energy From An Electromagnetic Wave”;
    • (5) U.S. application Ser. No. 11/243,477, filed on Oct. 5, 2005, entitled “Electron beam induced resonance,”
    • (6) U.S. application Ser. No. 11/325,448, entitled “Selectable Frequency Light Emitter from Single Metal Layer,” filed Jan. 5, 2006;
    • (7) U.S. application Ser. No. 11/325,432, entitled, “Matrix Array Display,” filed Jan. 5, 2006,
    • (8) U.S. application Ser. No. 11/410,905, entitled, “Coupling Light of Light Emitting Resonator to Waveguide,” and filed Apr. 26, 2006;
    • (9) U.S. application Ser. No. 11/411,120, entitled “Free Space Interchip Communication,” and filed Apr. 26, 2006;
    • (10) U.S. application Ser. No. 11/410,924, entitled, “Selectable Frequency EMR Emitter,” filed Apr. 26, 2006;
    • (11) U.S. application Ser. No. 11/418,126, entitled, “Multiplexed Optical Communication between Chips on A Multi-Chip Module,” filed on even date herewith;
    • (12) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/400,280, titled “Resonant Detector for Optical Signals,” filed Apr. 10, 2006.
COPYRIGHT NOTICE

A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material which is subject to copyright or mask work protection. The copyright or mask work owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure, as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent file or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright or mask work rights whatsoever.

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

This relates to plasmon waves, and, more particularly, to coupling energy in a plasmon wave to an electron beam.

INTRODUCTION

It is known to couple light onto the surface of a metal, creating a so-called plasmon wave. This effect has been used, e.g., near-field optical microscopy. However, to date there has been no good way to electrically detect a plasmon wave and there has been limited practicality in trying to use plasmons to communicate data.

It is desirable to electrically detect plasmon waves and to use plasmons to communicate data. One reason for this is because plasmons move faster than high frequency signals.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The following description, given with respect to the attached drawings, may be better understood with reference to the non-limiting examples of the drawings, wherein:

FIGS. 1-2 are top and side views, respectively, of a plasmon wave detector.

FIG. 3 is a top view of an exemplary plasmon wave detector.

THE PRESENTLY PREFERRED EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

As shown in FIG. 1 a transmission line 100 is formed on a substrate 102. The transmission line 100 (preferably a metal line) preferably has a pointed end (denoted 104 in the drawing). The transmission line 100 may be straight or curved. A source of charged particles 106 and a corresponding detector 108 are positioned so that a beam of charged particles (denoted E in the drawing) generated by the source 106 is disrupted or deflected by a change in the magnetic and/or electric field surrounding the pointed end 104. Preferably the source of charged particles 106 and the corresponding detector are positioned near the pointed end 104 of the transmission line 100. In some cases the beam E may be substantially perpendicular to a central axis of the transmission line.

Although the transmission line is preferably metal, those skilled in the art will realize, upon reading this description, that the transmission line may be formed of other non-metallic substances or of a combination of metallic and non-metallic substances. For example, the transmission line may comprise gold (Au), silver (Ag), copper (Cu) or aluminum (Al). Those skilled in the art will realize and understand, upon reading this description, that different and/or other metals may be used.

Those skilled in the art will realize, upon reading this description, that the end of the transmission line does not have to have a pointed end. Further, the detector does not have to be at an end of the line, although such embodiments are presently considered to increase the field strength and thus make detection easier. For example, as shown in FIG. 3, the emitter and detector are on opposite sides of the line, and the particle beam is deflected so that it passes adjacent to (in this case over), the transmission line.

The charged particle beam can include ions (positive or negative), electrons, protons and the like. The beam may be produced by any source, including, e.g., without limitation an ion gun, a thermionic filament, a tungsten filament, a cathode, a field-emission cathode, a planar vacuum triode, an electron-impact ionizer, a laser ionizer, a chemical ionizer, a thermal ionizer, an ion-impact ionizer.

The detector 108 is constructed and adapted to detect breaks or deflections of the beam E. Those skilled in the art will realize that the detector 108 can provide a signal indicative of the detected plasmon waves to other circuitry (not shown). The detector may be constructed, e.g., as described in related U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/400,280, titled “Resonant Detector for Optical Signals,” filed Apr. 10, 2006, the contents of which have been fully incorporated herein by reference.

Plasmon waves (denoted P) on the transmission line 100 travel in the direction of the pointed end 104. As the waves reach the pointed end 104, they cause disruption of an electric field around the point which, in turn, deflects the particle beam E. The detector 108 detects the deflection and thereby recognizes the presence and duration of the plasmon waves. Plasmon waves P will travel along the side surface 110 of the transmission line 100 and along the top surface 112.

Plasmon waves may travel in the transmission line 100 for a variety of reasons, e.g., because of a light wave (W) incident on the transmission line. However, this invention contemplates using plasmon wave detector described herein, regardless of the source or cause of the wave. The plasmon wave may contain or be indicative of a data signal.

Since the particle beam emitted by the source of charged particles may be deflected by any electric and/or magnetic field, one or more shields or shielding structure(s) may be added to block out unwanted fields. Such shield(s) and/or shielding structure(s) may be formed on the same substrate as the source of charged particles and/or the transmission line so that only fields from the transmission line will interact with the particle beam.

The devices according to embodiments of the present invention may be made, e.g., using techniques such as described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/917,511, entitled “Patterning Thin Metal Film by Dry Reactive Ion Etching” and/or U.S. application Ser. No. 11/203,407, entitled “Method Of Patterning Ultra-Small Structures,” both of which have been incorporated herein by reference. The nano-resonant structure may comprise any number of resonant microstructures constructed and adapted to produce EMR, e.g., as described above and/or in U.S. application Ser. No. 11/325,448, entitled “Selectable Frequency Light Emitter from Single Metal Layer,” filed Jan. 5, 2006, U.S. application Ser. No. 11/325,432, entitled, “Matrix Array Display,” filed Jan. 5, 2006, and U.S. application Ser. No. 11/243,476, filed on Oct. 5, 2005, entitled “Structures And Methods For Coupling Energy From An Electromagnetic Wave”; U.S. application Ser. No. 11/243,477, filed on Oct. 5, 2005, entitled “Electron beam induced resonance;” and U.S. application Ser. No. 11/302,471, entitled “Coupled Nano-Resonating Energy Emitting Structures,” filed Dec. 14, 2005.

While certain configurations of structures have been illustrated for the purposes of presenting the basic structures of the present invention, one of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that other variations are possible which would still fall within the scope of the appended claims. While the invention has been described in connection with what is presently considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the disclosed embodiment, but on the contrary, is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7961995 *Sep 16, 2008Jun 14, 2011The Aerospace CorporationElectrically tunable plasmon light tunneling junction
Classifications
U.S. Classification250/397, 250/396.00R, 250/400, 257/429
International ClassificationG01K1/08
Cooperative ClassificationH05H15/00
European ClassificationH05H15/00
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